If you are not moving overseas/ specifically to the US/ specifically to New York, this will not interest you. Do not read further.
One of the really exciting things you need (kind of) if you emigrate is an INTERNATIONAL DRIVING PERMIT. If you are just travelling, not all countries require an IDP, but it doesn’t hurt to have one, especially if you want to rent a car. However, it is only valid for one year, so if you emigrate you have to apply for a local license eventually. I got an IDP because I do not need or want a driver’s license for New York. I will almost never need to drive and if I do, I can with my South Africa license and IDP. After a year I will have to do all the tests and pay all the money to get a New York State license and surrender my SA license to the DMV monster.
The most important things to know about the IDP:
- It does not function alone, you have to carry it with you driver’s license from your country of origin
- You have to apply for it at home, you cannot do it from the USA
- To apply you need your license, your passport, 2 ID photos and a copy of your ticket and they give it to you on the spot
- In South Africa: You get an IDP from the AA (Automobile Association) and it costs R250
The New York DMV website is actually very informative and helpful. Here is the specific page about being a driver from another country:
Look how pretty: